Month: September 2017

The 21 Days Crafting Diet: How to Develop and Master Your Writing Habits

The 21 Days Crafting Diet: How to Develop and Master Your Writing Habits

From May 7 to May 28, I did what I could never imagine I would do this year: Writing between 300 and 1000 words every day for 21 days. When I think that writing an article a week seemed almost impossible for me at the beginning of this year, I am happy this writing routine made me write 21 blog posts that could cover four months of publishing. I am glad to share with  you how it happened and how it built confidence in me concerning my writing skills. This article also concludes the series of articles I wrote during that period.

I had no idea it will last 21 days. After the first seven days of writing, I remember what Brian Tracy  said in one of his motivational speech: if you do something for 21 days, it becomes a habit. I told myself, why not trying it; I will write an article every day for the 14 remaining days. I asked myself on what should I write?

I wrote down in my notebook every ideas and article titles that flowed out of my mind. I  also listened to podcasts to find inspiration; I went back into unpublished articles and suddenly, my draft was full of topics to write on.

The best time to write for me was immediately after I woke up. During the day, I could also write but I maximized the first hours of the day on writing something. Most of the time, I finished writing an article within 30 minutes to one hour. I did it without editing or proofreading; just writing. It’s after the 21 days that I edited most of the articles. Some were edited after I wrote every single word the same day and I made sure I rounded up the topic.

Most of the topics were storytelling which made it easy to write because I had a focal point to start with. When I had difficulties to have words, I simply answer the question “what is the real life situation I want to use to illustrate my ideas”. Once I remembered one or many of such situations, I chose the one that reflect the most what I wanted to communicate in my article.

I also wrote depending on my audiences. Who will read me? The answer made me differentiate my contents into four categories: Writing Management, Business and entrepreneurship, organizational and personal development, Cross-cultural management. It was easy to write articles in the same category then move to another one.

I faced two major challenges during this period. The first one was to write most of the articles in English being a French Native; On the 21 articles I wrote, only 4 were written in French. The powerful motivation behind writing in English was that it makes me develop more creative skills. The second challenge was to reach the appropriate number of words for some article; I remember I spent a day on a topic and I could not write more than 300 words. What a frustration! The next day, I had to work on two articles at the same time. The most important was that I succeeded to produce an acceptable length for the article.

I felt very excited with the idea of writing a coming book in 21 days. I told myself: “If I could write 1000 words every day at the pick of my writing performance, what if I invest on writing every day for 21 days? I could write 21000 words for a book every 3 months!”

I learned the importance of a writing plan if I have to do it next time. I am ready to write my first novel in 21 days as soon as I find a spot to invest in. I am now convinced it’s possible to write a blog post every day. I thought it was impossible but, during these 21 days, I acquired the writing habits and management necessary to grow in the writing business.

I was very encouraged by my wife who came back home one day and asked me once how many articles I wrote? Two friends also valued my writings by finding them inspirational. Two LinkedIn professionals were amazed at my effort and courage to write in English as they read one of my blog posts. I considered these appreciations as small rewards that prepare a greater work.

What topics will you write on for the  next 21 days ? Choose the period that fit you , plan what to write and start writing.

Hervé-Boris NGATE

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3 Mythes au Sujet de l’Entrepreneuriat en Afrique Sub-Saharienne

3 Mythes au Sujet de l’Entrepreneuriat en Afrique Sub-Saharienne

Pendant cinq années d’enseignement du second cycle et des enseignements supérieurs privés, j’ai eu l’occasion de me frotter à l’imagination des jeunes Camerounais en ce qui concerne l’emploi. Il suffisait de poser la question : ” Quel métier aimeriez vous faire dans l’avenir?” pour avoir l’unanimité des élèves : “Hommes d’affaires”. Les raisons qu’ils avançaient constituent de nombreux mythes au sujets de l’entrepreneuriat en contexte  Sub-Saharien.

En Ouganda, il est reconnu que les entreprises meurent avant leur troisième anniversaire. La raison fondamentale est l’absence de chef de projet; L’autre raison réside dans la création des entreprises par imitations. En effet, le mimétisme social fait que les entrepreneurs le deviennent parce qu’ils ont vu un autre réussir dans une affaire et non par souci de satisfaire un besoin de consommation crucial à la survie et au développement de la communauté.

Dans cet article, j’aimerais relever certains de ces mythes et les moyens de s’en débarrasser efficacement. Les idées de cet article vont en droite ligne avec les résultats des recherches que j’ai mené sur l’insertion professionnelle au Cameroun et les analyses faites sur la faible durabilité des entreprises Ougandaises dans la ville de Kampala.

L’entrepreneuriat c’est l’art d’entreprendre. C’est l’habileté à prendre des initiatives pour créer des richesses à partir des matériaux/connaissances non exploités. Selon Peter Ducker, l’entrepreneuriat est la capacité d’appliquer des procédures scientifiques pour commencer et continuer de manière durable un projet de création des valeurs à consommer. L’entrepreneur a besoin d’innover et de créer en permanence afin d’ assurer la continuité du business pour assouvir les besoins de consommation.

Avec cette définition, voici les mythes que j’ai identifié au sujet de l’entrepreneuriat en Afrique Sub-Saharienne:

Etre entrepreneur c’est facile. En parcourant l’histoire des entrepreneurs Américains (Henry Ford, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg), Africain (Dangote) et Asiatiques (SamsungJack Ma Alias Alibaba) , je suis impressionné par leur acharnement au travail extrêmement dur. C’est évident que l’entrepreneuriat n’est pas facile.

Etre entrepreneur c’est avoir beaucoup d’argent très vite. J’étais surpris en regardant un interview vidéo dans lequel Bill Gates affirmait que sa motivation dans les affaires n’était pas d’abord l’argent. Les débuts sont tellement difficiles qu’il faut plus que l’argent comme motivation. Ce qu’il faut c’est la passion de voir des communautés épanouies parce qu’un besoin capital a été satisfait.

L’entrepreneuriat c’est pour ceux qui n’ont pas réussi dans les études. Cette idée est venue d’un élève qui comparait les salaires exorbitants des footballeurs avec ceux des fonctionnaires. Malheureusement les footballeurs ne sont pas des entrepreneurs mais des employés au service d’une vaste compagnie de football. Il est vrai que beaucoup d’entrepreneurs n’ont pas fait de longues études sur les bancs mais ils ont étudié à leur manière: Ils ont  tiré des leçons de leurs échecs; Ils ont cherché à développer l’unique talent qu’ils avaient; ils ont creusé le secret de ceux qui ont réussi en lisant leurs histoires.

Quels sont les besoins de consommation que tu identifies dans ta communauté et comment comptes-tu faire pour créer des produits et des services qui vont satisfaire ces besoins?

La réponse à cette question simple à deux volets fait de toi un entrepreneur dont les services seront durables.

Je t’encourage à suivre cette vidéo de Dangote, le plus riche entrepreneur Africain de l’heure en cliquant sur le lien suivant : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YE9atq7o8W8

Hervé-Boris NGATE

Hervé-Boris NGATE’s Top 10 Rules For Success Outside Comfort Zones

Hervé-Boris NGATE’s Top 10 Rules For Success Outside Comfort Zones

 Life outside comfort zones started for me while in Cameroon. I had to work upcountry for 2 years before leaving Cameroon in 2015. I came to some conclusions concerning success outside comfort zones. There are invariable factors I observed in every culture I went to and, understanding them made integration easier for professional or social fulfilment.

Before reading my views on success outside comfort zones, I invite you to listen to the following podcast of Brian Tracy on 5 Common Myths About Success. This could help you not misunderstand what  I mean by success. What I share in this article is purely the fruit of personal observations on my own experience and the one of few others.

Learn the language before landing. This is the key factor for achieving your goals in a new environment. The language might not only be spoken or writen but also values attached to words, context and situations. Knowing English and French is a great advantage for me because I can communicate easily in every new places.

Look For Mentors. A mentor is a guide that has previous experience in the new place you are moving to. Having one will prepare you mentally to face many challenges. While learning from your mentors, develop your own pattern for success because things could have changed since your mentor reached the same environment.

I take the simple example of having a driving licence in the USA. If your mentor came in America 5 to 10 years ago, the advice he provides you need to be updated if not you will be quite disapointed.

Plan Big and Start Little. What is the best image of yourself out of your comfort zone? Write a plan to reach that pict but make sure you start by the smallest steps. Each step leading you to the manifestation of the whole blueprint.

I met people who took a loan after 3 months in an unknown environment and spent the next 5 years paying back a money they did not enjoy.

Other people  dream they might make career in the same domain in which they were working in their country; It’s after 3 years of wasted time, money and energy that they come to accept the reality.

Understand the Business Mind. There are 3 types of mindsets when it comes to money, time and energy: investing , spending or wasting.

According to statistics, only  3 to 5 % are part of the investors, while 95 to 97 % are spending and wasting.

Why buying a car of $50000 to  drive it once a month while someone else uses the same car  for rent for special events? Why having a  2 hours talk with complainers while another uses the same time to think productivity, improvement and positive changes?

Train Yourself. There are enourmous training opportunities today. With the digital revolution you can take free courses every where in the world; Even going to a cyber cafe once a week for 2 hours to take an online training will make you better after a year.

Build True Frienships. In my article 4 Challenges Outside Your Comfort Zone That Confirm You Are Becoming a Champion , I share the importance of building genuine friendships from the mistake I did. According to cross-cultural experts, you need at least 2 years of consistent interaction with someone to develop true friendship.

The average time for a false relation to last is 8 months. So don’t hurry and take time to scan your contact before pouring out confidential things to somebody. Set relationship goals in terms of win-win interactions, then work on it to make it happen.

Use Cultural Shocks as Directions. Cultural shocks always happen but the way we handle it differ from person to person. I learned how to use shocks to understand there was a good intentions but  different values.

Therefore values  and not emotions should guide us. If the most important thing for you is your family, you could easily manage cultural shocks; But if you interact with a group where money is the first value, shocks will happen more often and in the worst case, you might never come to understand each other.

You can know your values or someones’ values by answering the question : “what is most important for me?” and ” what is more important for him/her?”. With the answer, the choice is yours to start or not a relationship with someone.

The choice is also yours to balance what adjustment could be done to your values in other to build a strong connection with a person.

Learn How to Communicate. We can know a language but not know how to communicate effectively. Therefore it’s essential to take time to understand your communication style (writen,verbal or gestual) and the one of others.

You can read my article 4 Successful Strategies to Communicate Effectively in a MultiCultural Environment to have a broader view on the subject.

To discover your communication style, do the following test : If you are in an intensive emotional pressure (pain or joy), what would you do to let others know what you are going through? You could shout (verbal), agitate (gestual) or speak to yourself (writen). Which one reflect the most your possible reaction?

Enjoy the new currency. In Uganda, I always had the habit to converting from shilling to Fcfa or USD or Euro. Each shilling spent or item bought was compared to the equivalent on Fcfa. What a mental gym! It was frustrating  and stressing to always convert unconsciously until a friend told us to start thinking in the local curency.

From that time, life seems cheaper and more enjoyable. Coming to the USA, that  conversion habits almost disapeared.

Define Your Own Fun. I think the word I heard the most since I integrated the anglo-saxon milieu is the word “Fun”. What is funny in Cameroon might not necessary be funny in Uganda or in America.

Being yourself means that you know what makes you laugh and you know how to get it, when and with whom.

I discovered that the word ” F*ck” produce a lot of fun in many conversations but in my country, it’s a scandal because the meaning is totally different. So not using it makes me too serious for some while for me I am just trying to be pudic.

What are the rules you came out with from your experience outside your comfort zone? It can be in another area like changing a professional career, a goal or a company.

Leave a comment bellow and share this article to your network if you liked it.

Hervé-Boris Ngaté

The One Thing About Loosing Weight You Should Know

The One Thing About Loosing Weight You Should Know

“You don’t look like someone who will put on weight” said one of my friend when I was still single. I remember people mocked at me so much because I was so thin; Someone even asked me once if I was sick. Frustration grew because, this lead me to spend the little money I gained as student to eat ” fatty food” but no flesh was adding on; I added prayer on it, asking God to help me gain pounds to have a better outfit and It seems like God was deaf.

When I got married, something amazing happened: I put on 20 kg in less that one year! In Africa, putting on weight after maariage is sign the women is taking good care of the husband; But as time gone on, it was oversleep, overtiredness for the least effort done and  I came to the conclusion I had to loose weight. After months of gym, I could only stabilize my weight but I was still overweight.

Coming to the US made me take almost 10 kg in 3 months. I came to a situation were loosing weight was actually the only disqualifying factor for a drastic positive change in my life. I was shocked! The young man who was praying to put on weigh is the one who is praying to loose around 20 pounds in less than six months. Two weeks after some efforts, I was frustrated when I looked at my stomach pointing 90 degree before me. Something had to happen if not I would loose a unique opportunity in my life. Something happened and started seing positive results. It was obvious when people around me told me: you are becoming thin.

The good thing is that I lost 20 pounds in 4 weeks! I could celebrate the success and I started questionning all these special program to lost weight. I decided to share my experience on simple things I did  to have the shape physical appearance I have now !

The motivation behind loosing weight. You should determine  why you want to loose weight. Is it because people tell you so or it’s linked to something else. If marriage or the summer beach are reasons to loose weight, you’ll notice that you won’t make it. Many people who lost weight to get married regained it because they considered acquired the fact they were married; The summer beach is seasonnal and you’ll go back to your past eating habit because you will have no more reasons to cut off those pounds.

Motivation should be tied to something ideal or a dream or a vision you are persuing. What is the most radical change you want to see in your life? It could be a professional advancement, a new job, open a new business or move into a sport competition. This goal to change cannot be done if overweight because: Overweight means too much sleep, slow thinking, low reactions to situation, low sexual performance, etc.

Motivation will make you change your eating habits. It’s motivation that will make you cut off beaf, rice, white bread , fat milk from your diet. You’ll enjoy eating quality food that quantity food. Only a strong motivation could make me drink 3l of water daily for a month and avoid all sort of Soda; When I remembered my goal and the capital revolution that would take place in my life, I had to stop eating after 8pm; I could take fruits or a pot of hotmeal before going to bed.

Motivation will push you  burn those calories. Changing my eating habits and work hard was not easy. I had the choice between a cool lazy booring life because I was no more eating so much and increase activities that could contribute in burning calories faster. I made the second choice  and I am happy I did it at that time.

Working harder means more calories burned but also more pain in the body as it’s adapting to the new lifestyle. Your motivation keeps you moving forward despite pain; You just add that extra working time because you say : ” It’s bringing me closer to my goal”.

Nothing is more powerfull than the effect of a good motivation to loose weight. And you easily find your motivation in your longlife goals and ambitions. Nobody have to stimulate you when you drive your motivation from your life purpose because it comes within you.

Hervé-Boris NGATE